By: Ty Oringer
BOSTON — Before a crucial weekend set of games, the Boston University women’s hockey team will take on the non-conference Brown University Bears on Tuesday at Walter Brown Arena. The contest comes following a 4-2 loss against Wisconsin last Saturday.
The Bears (1-9) have struggled mightily this season, as they have allowed a whopping 5.77 goals-against average and have mustered 2.00 goals per game.
The Terriers (5-7-2, 3-5-2 Hockey East) are sitting in sixth place at this point in this season, and will not pass up any opportunity to improve. Despite the Bears lackluster season, Head Coach Brian Durocher was adamant that Brown will be just like any other game given their tough nature and coaching.
“[Brown head coach] Bob Kenneally is striving to get it going. They are going to play as a hard as they can,” Durocher said. “They are probably going to play as loose as they can as well, and we have to be aware of that coming off of two WCHA opponents next door with Boston College.”
With the Eagles on the horizon this weekend, the Terriers know they need to take advantage of the struggling Bears. BU is looking to inch closer and closer to .500, as the meat of the season approaches.
“Your body of work during the season decides whether or not you get in the NCAA tournament and some of that might have slipped away from us. They pride themselves on being ready for every game,” Durocher said. “It’s not just an athletic thing – it’s a life skill. You got to be ready when the bell rings all the time in life and so hopefully they are there.”
Brown does also have the advantage of being rested, while BU is coming off of a pair of games; something Durocher noted as a disadvantage for his win-hungry Terriers.
While the season has not unfolded the way the scarlet and white would have liked, seniors Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach have done their part both on and off the ice.
“They are very caring kids, very talented kids. Obviously, they have put up numbers for us in the early going and they know they have to do that,” Durocher said. “Off the ice they have to be there for the younger kids and they certainly have great support from the other seniors.”
The Terriers have been uncharacteristically porous on the defensive side of the puck, allowing the second most goals per game (2.57) in Hockey East. This is a telling sign of what BU needs to fix in order to get back to their familiar winning ways.
“I want them to play structurally sound. We started the year tough with four losses, and every game after those first four has been pretty good structurally,” Durocher said. “We just got to keep doing it shift by shift. I know that’s cliché, but that’s just how things add up. We have to do it from the opening bell, pretty consistently, all the way through.”